AsiaBhutanCosta RicaDestinationsEuropeFrench PolynesiahoneymoonNorth Americasustainability

The World’s Most Romantic & Sustainable Destinations

The World’s Most Romantic & Sustainable Destinations

romantic and sustainable destination listWhat are we doing for our tenth 12 months on honeymoon? We’re occurring a quest for the world’s most romantic and sustainable locations! Places that aren’t simply attempting to be inexperienced, however those that’ve made it their compass. Tourism that actively makes the encircling atmosphere and communities stronger, all whereas inspiring their friends to do the identical. We know romance and sustainability are the proper pair and we will’t wait to see the place this subsequent chapter takes us. See our extremely coveted locations up to now…

Tetiaroa, French Polynesia

First up on our year-long quest to search out the world’s most romantic and sustainable locations…Tetiaroa, French Polynesia! For centuries, this beautiful atoll north of Tahiti was a sacred assembly floor for Polynesian royalty. In the Sixties, Marlon Brando got here to those coral islets to movie Mutiny on the Bounty, fell in love along with his main girl, and made Tetiaroa their house.
romantic and sustainable destinationsThey had a dream to make use of tourism, science, and the local people to protect the island. Decades later, that has been fulfilled by The Brando Resort & the Tetiaroa Society environmental and cultural nonprofit. The Society’s initiatives, from inexperienced sea turtle conservation to The Blue Climate Initiative (a UN Ocean Decade undertaking), are 70% funded by the resort and furthered by visiting researchers from around the globe.
most romantic and sustainable destinationsThough sustainability might be not the primary cause Kim Kardashian or Leo DiCaprio stayed right here. It’s a personal island and one of the crucial luxurious resorts on the planet, with ocean-view villas, private infinity swimming pools, a lavish spa, connoisseur delicacies, and five-star service. And all that decadence is supported by solar energy, seawater air con, a permaculture backyard, intensive recycling, and French Polynesia‘s first LEED-Platinum development. To perceive either side of this gold coin, we spent two days working alongside the researchers on the Tetiaroa Society and two extra residing the luxe life at The Brando. Both had been equally inspiring and the mixture took our breath away. Watch this video to see how attractive sustainability might be.

Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

romantic and sustainable destinationsThe nation itself is a shoe-in for its progressive environmental insurance policies, with 25% of their land protected as nature reserves, 53% of the nation lined in forest (after a decades-long reforestation effort) and 99% renewable power. Costa Rica is stuffed with beautiful seashores, volcanoes, rainforests, and swank resorts that would match the invoice for a sustainable honeymoon vacation spot, however none greater than the Osa Peninsula. National Geographic ranked it within the prime 5 most romantic locations on the planet, and with 2.5percentof the Earth’s biodiversity (in lower than one-thousandth of a p.c of its complete floor space), in addition they referred to as it “the most biologically intense place on earth.” It’s essentially the most important wetland ecosystem and mangrove forests in Central America and the biggest remaining tract of lowland rainforest in Pacific Mesoamerica, no to say beautiful seashores…depend us in! We spent per week on this magical nook of southwestern Costa Rica…mountain climbing, birding, kayaking, swimming, and assembly the stewards serving to make Osa such a dream vacation spot. Read on for our Osa Peninsula sustainable journey information and plan your getaway.
Watch our Osa video to see this magical place come to life.

The Kingdom of Bhutan

Tiger's Nest BhutanA Himalayan Kingdom that has solely been open to the surface world since 1974, and a rustic that measures success by Gross National Happiness, Bhutan has all the time fascinated us. Adding to the intrigue of “The Land of the Thunder Dragon,” they took pandemic precautions to a brand new degree and closed their borders for the final 2.5 years. The nation lastly opened to guests on September twenty third, 2022…however by means of a sequence of governmental hoops and a stroke of magic, we had been invited in early to assist present that Bhutan is again and higher than ever. During the 916 days with out guests, the dominion took that quiet time to shine each side of its tourism sector, together with countrywide lodge renovations, transportation enhancements, and personnel coaching. They additionally furthered their dedication of being a carbon-negative nation with a slew of latest sustainability initiatives—from an electrical taxi fleet to the Million Tree Project. It was an unimaginable honor to be among the many first vacationers to expertise the “New Bhutan” and canopy the story for Travel & Leisure, and now (in juicier element) for our HoneyTrek followers. From trekking to the well-known Tiger’s Nest to flying within the cockpit over Mount Everest, becoming a member of a masks dance pageant, glamping at 12,000 ft, river rafting previous Seventeenth-century fortresses, sleeping in Buddhist temples, planting bushes, to sharing tea with nomadic cow herders, we’ve acquired rather a lot to share in our Bhutan journey information. For the visible highlights see this IG Reel.

This is a ever-growing checklist of the world’s most romantic and sustainable locations…keep tuned for what’s subsequent on HoneyTrek’s Instagram. Have a rustic, area, lodge, tour operator, or clothing store that involves thoughts? we might LOVE to listen to them!

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DestinationsGlamping DestinationsMexicoNorth America

Glamping at One of the Most Sustainable Resorts within the World

Glamping at One of the Most Sustainable Resorts in the

sustainable glamping

Part turtle sanctuary, half permaculture farm, half luxurious resort, and 100% off grid, Playa Viva is not only excited about the nicely being of their visitors however that of future generations. We discovered about this forward-thinking eco-lodge whereas researching the “Conservation” chapter of our glamping ebook, Comfortably Wild, and just lately had the possibility to spend just a few nights of their unbelievable treehouse alongside the Costa Grande of Guerrero, Mexico. We fell deeper in love with Playa Viva and know you’ll too. Watch this video from our keep and browse this Comfortably Wild excerpt to find one of the vital enchanting and sustainable glamping retreats on the planet.


Playa Viva Fast Facts

LOCATION: Juluchuca, Mexico
LODGING: Cabanas, suites, studios, and a treehouse (with six extra opening fall 2021!)
WHEN TO GO: Open Oct–July. The panorama is especially lush firstly of the season; the turtle sanctuary is most lively Oct–Dec.
GETTING THERE: Fly into Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo International Airport (ZIH) and search for a driver with a “Playa Viva” signal in your 35-minute trip south (free with a three-night keep).
GPS: 17.4497° N, 101.2472° W
PRICING: Lodging, meals, each day yoga, on-site actions; beginning at $157 per particular person (primarily based on double occupancy)
CONTACT: (800) 397-6093;
NICE TOUCH: Field guides are in every room that will help you establish wildlife out your window.
MISC: Handicap accessible, kid-friendly, pet-friendly, and wifi within the lounge.

The Heart and Soul of Playa Viva

sustainable glamping

A 200-acre stretch of Pacific shoreline, backed by estuaries, mangroves, lakes, and mango timber, got here up on the market in 2006. This undeveloped seaside north of Acapulco was prime for a resort, however to develop such a wild ecosystem required child gloves. David Leventhal and Sandra Kahn, a pair that grew up in Mexico and labored within the social influence area, purchased the land however didn’t need to construct simply one other eco-resort. They needed to revive the realm to the paradise it had as soon as been—and a spot the locals dreamt it to be. They despatched out specialists, together with biologists and anthropologists, and interviewed the Juluchuca group members. Then they distilled the information into seven core ideas to information the property’s restorative growth.

“When we first envisioned Playa Viva, we were so excited about the possibilities,” mentioned Sandra. “We talked of driving our veggie biodiesel van to pick up guests and making our own soap from the glycerin byproduct.” Over a decade later, they efficiently use 100% solar energy, greywater and blackwater remedy, and natural and native merchandise; they’ve even achieved that seemingly unimaginable cleaning soap. As inexperienced as a property may be, “Locals are what create the path to change,” mentioned David. Empowering the group via training, healthcare, financial growth, and a pleasure for his or her area’s pure magnificence, Playa Viva and the village are on this collectively, and so they hope you possibly can take part.

Pack provides for the elementary faculty, assist launch child turtles on the sanctuary, and dine on fare from their native community of natural farmers. You by no means know, giving again might really feel nearly as good as Playa Viva’s yoga lessons and spa therapies.

“First, thank you for such a lovely place to sit, breathe, and grow. Second, I wanted to share that I went over to the local school to play some music for the kids. It was the highlight of my time here. If there is ever a way I can continue to help, please let me know.”
—Molly, a Playa Viva visitor

The Glamping Experience

Playa Viva Sustainable Glamping

ACCOMMODATIONS: The 12 eco-luxe items with personal loos are raised off the bottom and revel in sea views. The freestanding EcoCasitas have sliding partitions, whereas the personal casita, deluxe suites, and studios boast a breezy palapa-style building. Choose from secluded rooms or adjoining lodging sleeping as much as 12 folks. For the last word Instagrammable pad, snag the tubular treehouse nestled within the palms, fabricated from a whole bunch of bamboo poles and that includes an in-floor hammock.
DINING: Mexican delicacies with a world and health-conscious twist is made with farm-fresh substances 4 occasions a day (after all you want breakfast earlier than and after yoga). Meals are served household fashion; for extra privateness, simply request a desk within the seaside observatory. Get to know the kitchen crew; they’ll be completely satisfied to offer you a snack or an impromptu cooking class.
ACTIVITIES: Yoga, spa, horseback driving, archaeology museum, ATVing, fishing, scuba, snorkeling, browsing, farm excursions, and volunteering alternatives.
HONEYTREK TIP: Save a bit house in your baggage so you possibly can “Pack for a Purpose.” See Playa Viva’s newest supply list for the native faculty, well being clinic, and group yoga program.

Glamping Adventures

Mexico yoga retreat

Deepen your yoga follow with a multiday workshop. Choose from greater than 20 retreats all year long, combining yoga with the whole lot from therapeutic massage to Ayurveda, aerial arts, meditation, Qigong, and dwelling with gratitude. Open-air lessons are interspersed with walks on the seaside, rest, and wholesome meals. Check for the timing and educating that speaks to you.
travel with social impactSHARE A SKILL
Are you a singer, chiropractor, instructor, soccer participant, or lover of group? Then coordinate with Playa Viva’s social and environmental influence supervisor to share your expertise with the Juluchuca village. If nothing else, see the unbelievable work the long-term volunteers are doing on the clinic, faculty, salt cooperative, and natural farms—it is going to seemingly encourage you to lend a serving to hand.

Mexican farm experience

Ride an 4×4 into the mountains to go to a standard household farm. After a 1.5-hour off-roading journey, you’ll attain the Gutiérrez’s residence for a field-to-food tour of espresso, cacao, bananas, sugar cane, and extra. Admire their unbelievable self-sufficiency as they put together a meal, contemporary from the backyard. Gather across the desk for this distinctive probability to interrupt bread.

tortuga viva mexico

Join the turtle sanctuary workforce in gathering freshly laid leatherback and inexperienced turtle eggs for his or her incubation, or assist launch the lovable newborns into the ocean. There is a few turtle exercise all year long (we went within the “off season” and launched 140+ newborns!), so irrespective of whenever you arrive, it’s best to go to the sanctuary, study Playa Viva’s improbable conservation efforts, and see how one can help.


Glamping BookThis article is an excerpt from our Falcon Guides ebook Comfortably Wild (ISBN:9781493037797). For dozens extra sustainable glamping locations in North America, our greatest recommendations on planning an outside getaway, and the whole lot you needed to find out about this trending journey fashion, take a look at:

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The Most Romantic & Sustainable Destinations

The Most Romantic & Sustainable Destinations

What are we doing for our tenth 12 months on honeymoon? We’re occurring a quest for the ten most romantic and sustainable locations on the planet! Places that aren’t simply making an attempt to be inexperienced, however those that’ve made it their compass. Tourism that actively makes the encompassing surroundings and communities stronger, all whereas inspiring their company to do the identical. We know sustainability and romance are the right pair and we are able to’t wait to see the place this subsequent chapter takes us! If any international locations, areas, accommodations, tour operators, or outfitters come to thoughts, we’d LOVE to listen to them!

First up on our year-long quest to seek out essentially the most romantic and sustainable honeymoon locations…Tetiaroa, French Polynesia! For centuries, this attractive atoll north of Tahiti was a sacred assembly floor for Polynesian royalty. In the Nineteen Sixties, Marlon Brando got here to those coral islets to movie Mutiny on the Bounty, fell in love together with his main woman, and made Tetiaroa their residence.
Tetioroa's conservation and tourism efforts

They had a dream to make use of tourism, science, and the area people to protect the island. Decades later, that has been fulfilled by The Brando Resort & the Tetiaroa Society environmental and cultural nonprofit. The Society’s tasks, from inexperienced sea turtle conservation to The Blue Climate Initiative (a UN Ocean Decade challenge), are 70% funded by the resort and furthered by visiting researchers from around the globe.
most romantic and sustainable destinationsThough sustainability might be not the principle cause Kim Kardashian or Leo DiCaprio stayed right here. It’s a non-public island and one of the vital luxurious resorts on the planet, with ocean-view villas, private infinity swimming pools, a lavish spa, connoisseur delicacies, and five-star service. And all that decadence is supported by solar energy, seawater air con, a permaculture backyard, intensive recycling, and French Polynesia‘s first LEED-Platinum development.

To perceive either side of this gold coin, we spent two days working alongside the researchers on the Tetiaroa Society and two extra residing the luxe life at The Brando. Both have been equally inspiring and the mix took our breath away. Watch this video to see how attractive sustainability might be.

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City GuideDestinationshotelskayakNorth AmericaTennesseeUSA

One the Most Charming & Sustainable Towns within the USA: Franklin, TN

Franklin TN Travel Guide

Franklin TN Travel guide

It’s not simple to maintain a historic city fantastically preserved…and even tougher to replace it to Twenty first-century sustainability requirements. But Franklin, Tennessee (est. 1799) has completed the uncommon combo of National Historic Register of Places and LEED-certification…citywide! They are simply one among 120 cities (of the ~20,000 within the USA), to have earned this Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design accolade for his or her forward-thinking techniques and improved high quality of life. Locals are happy with the place they’re from so that they take excellent care of their hometown and are blissful to share it. Walking the historic streets stuffed with impartial outlets and cafes, canoeing proper from our resort, and tapping our toes to stay music throughout city, we rapidly fell in love with this place too. Long overshadowed by its big-city neighbor Nashville, Franklin is now not a day-trip vacation spot. We stayed 4 nights within the space and nonetheless have extra we wish to come again and discover. Get to know probably the most charming and sustainable cities in America with our Franklin, TN Travel Guide.

Franklin Walking Tour

Franklin TN Walking tours

You may not assume a downtown that’s 16-blocks massive would wish a strolling tour (particularly when Visit Franklin has crafted some nice self-guided options), however exploring with an area information is one of the simplest ways to get your bearings and the within scoop. So we set out with Alicia Marshall, the proprietor and self-proclaimed historical past nerd at Franklin Walking Tours, for the two-hour “Franklin Charm” stroll. Tours meet Monday-Saturday at 9am in entrance of the attractive Landmark Booksellers, the oldest industrial constructing on the town. Before the Civil War, Williamson County was one of many richest within the state and so they have a lot of opulent Antebellum structure to point out for it. But the Battle of Franklin on November thirtieth, 1864 devastated the city, with over 8,500 casualties turning just about all their buildings into discipline hospitals. Alicia identified blood stains soaked into the picket flooring and bullet marks pocking the partitions of buildings. Like any former accomplice state, their story isn’t fairly however we admire that Franklin isn’t sugarcoating its previous. The metropolis is making ongoing reparations with initiatives like their “Fuller Story” markers and the March to Freedom Statue on the principle sq., honoring the function and sacrifices made by African Americans in making Franklin what it’s immediately. We cherished our cease at ANC Williams’ home, who was the primary African American enterprise proprietor in downtown Franklin, and studying that the town simply named a road after him. Continuing our stroll round city, Alicia confirmed us the row of homes the place Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, and different musicians usually keep after they have tasks in Nashville and that many stars (Keith Urban, Nicole Kidman, Brad Paisley, and extra) have made Franklin their house. After stopping at locations just like the Heritage Foundation (the outdated jail) and an 1820s house-turned artwork gallery, we rapidly realized that every constructing had a deeper story behind its fairly facade. The tour ended at Bakehouse with a heat sprinkle cookie for good emotions throughout.

Tip: For extra nice historical past excursions, strive “Franklin’s Fierce Females” and go to the Carnton House & Museum for a captivating have a look at the Battle of Franklin.

Shopping Main Street

Main street Franklin Tennessee

Franklin’s Main Street is so charming and well-preserved the National Civic League named it a “Great American Main Street.” The constructing facades are a beautiful mixture of Victorian, Tennessee Federal, Art Deco, and Craftsman structure, and the interiors are renovated to modern perfection. Virtually no chain shops or tchotchke outlets, the boutiques are genuine and hip, like Holly Williams’ (granddaughter of nation legend Hank Williams) White’s Mercantile providing a group of her favourite issues with Southern fashion. Or Rooted From Yarrow Acres aka “Franklin’s Little Plant Shop,” run by a mother-daughter workforce who supply “fresh” decor and workshops on construct your personal terrariums. And Philanthropy who donates 10% of their trend and residential items proceeds to charitable causes (and 100% if you store on-line)! Strolling below lamp posts, adorned with hanging flowers and flags, we discovered ourselves stopping each few toes for a cute new retailer. For the last word Main Street expertise, we caught Franklin’s First Friday Art Scene, when outlets keep open late to show new artworks and share a glass of wine with the neighborhood. This occasion introduced us into cute companies that we wouldn’t have in any other case visited, like Parker House Salon that had painter Lorrie Fowler making stay artwork with a blow dryer (which is now hanging on Buddy the Camper’s wall and gave us the possibility to fulfill so many pretty locals.

Tip: Don’t miss Cards of Care. In entrance of metropolis corridor you’ll see a yellow mailbox with pens and paper the place individuals depart nameless notes of positivity for anybody who wants a smile. Take a observe and depart a observe to maintain this circle of fine vibes going.

Where to Eat

best restaurants in Franklin TN

Southern cooking is finished to perfection on this city, with some eating places serving up the classics (BBQ, biscuits, scorching hen, candy tea) and others giving it a up to date twist. We cherished Frothy Monkey for his or her artsy vibe and bountiful vegan choices and spectacular espresso bar, and Red Pony was the right spot for a date evening. Voted “Best Restaurant in the County” and incomes a half-dozen Open Table awards, Red Pony is an upscale native favourite. We noticed Jerk Eggplant Meatballs on the menu and had been instantly intrigued, and once we requested about different vegan choices, they crafted a cashew-cream stuffed portobello and an almond-milk & darkish chocolate mousse for dessert. What a deal with! And for true southern fare and one among coolest tales on the town, there isn’t any higher place than Gray’s. With its iconic neon signal and a entrance door painted with the names of all of the earlier house owners of Gray Drug Company over the previous century, you’ll know you’re in the appropriate place. The newest house owners have honored its Rx historical past and used outdated prescriptions (they unearthed throughout a renovation) for wallpaper and stored the graffiti-style dairy of a previous worker (beginning with the delivery of his son in 1950 and ending 30+ years later with “Gone Fishing”). Another purpose to go to Gray’s is the stay music and cocktails. Their Anthym Spirit was voted the “South’s Best Whiskey Drink,” with its easy mixture of apricot brandy, benedictine, and chai bitters. We indulged in a mid-day cocktail, fries, and crispy Brussels sprouts and had been blissful vegans. (see our TikTok about Gray’s). As for espresso outlets, don’t miss The Coffee House at Second and Bridge in a historic cottage with a lovely yard to sip your espresso.
Fun Fact: The round city sq. is nicknamed is the “Squircle.”


Nightlife Guide Franklin TN

While it is best to actually hit up Gray’s for stay music and their subsequent door neighbor Oh Be Joyful for artistic cocktails, a go to the Legendary Kimbros Pickin’ Parlor is obligatory. An outdated nook retailer smashed along with a Victorian cottage, this funky spot is the place Franklin will get down. We walked via the collection of rooms-turned bars and hang-spaces and felt like we had been at an superior home occasion. The foremost stage has seen names like John Prine, Wynonna Judd, to Emmylou Harris, and also you by no means know who’s gonna present up on open mic evening or of their free-for-all jam room. Also, examine which exhibits are enjoying on the iconic Franklin Theater (saved by the Heritage Foundation!), they’ve performs, stand-up comedy, films, and extra for a fantastic date evening.

See our video for the best of Franklin’s Main Street


Factory at Franklin

Factory at Franklin

This truly isn’t our first time to Franklin, TN. Years in the past we got here for a gathering on the Lonely Planet workplaces in The Factory at Franklin. While that journey writer is now not headquartered there, The Factory is getting cooler by the day…in actual fact, come fall 2022 they’re having a grand reopening of their unbelievable complicated of outlets, eating places, and leisure venues. Originally a Nineteen Twenties range manufacturing unit, it was on the verge of being demolished within the ’90s, however an area developer Calvin Lehew noticed the sweetness within the industrial house and its potential for a group hub, and now it’s on the National Historic Register of Places. Keeping the unique water tower, metal beams, paned home windows, and concrete flooring, it’s house to 80 native companies, just like the Luna Record Shop, Five Daughters Bakery, The Mockingbird Theater, Mojo’s Tacos (sooooo good), and the weekly farmer’s market. We bought chatting with Bonnie, the proprietor of the reward store Times Past & Present, who was the second tenant within the constructing and so proud to nonetheless be right here 23 years later and past excited for the place The Factory at Franklin is heading.


Where to Stay

Harpeth Hotel

We checked into downtown’s scorching new resort, the Harpeth. It’s in Hilton’s Curio assortment of boutique resorts with modern decor and private touches. Their 1799 Kitchen & Cocktails is among the nicest eating places on the town, and McGavock’s espresso store is cool sufficient that locals come for lattes. We adored our nook suite with stylish decor, spa-like toilet, seating space, and a balcony wanting over city. Cleverly designed, they positioned the mattress in the course of the room and made a headboard with a fold-out desk—as a pair that works collectively, we completely admire this house answer! That mentioned, with a bottle of champagne and sundown view from our balcony…we didn’t get a lot work performed!

Tip: For a luxurious resort in Franklin’s countryside, Southall Farms is poised to be the world’s premier getaway with its 62-room inn, farm-to-table delicacies, spa, and trails stretching throughout 325 acres. Opening winter 2022.


Harpeth River Blueway

harpeth river blueway

Where does the Harpeth Hotel get its identify? The river that runs behind their resort and thru downtown Franklin! To give residents extra human-powered transportation and recreation alternatives, the town joined the Harpeth River Blueway Project to make the river simpler to kayak and SUP. Downtown has six entry factors; we selected Harlinsdale Farm, a historic 200-acre park (and residential of the annual Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival), and paddled upstream in direction of our resort. When it’s a relaxed river, we wish to paddle upstream, then have a leisurely float again (no shuffling of vehicles or hitchhiking required). The Harpeth water ranges can get just a little low by mid summer time so spring is the very best time, however we didn’t thoughts selecting up our kayak for brief stretches—particularly as a result of we had the river all to ourselves! We noticed a number of nice blue herons, dozens of turtles, and big bass splashing about on this biodiversity hotspot. We hopped out on the pretty Bicentennial Park for a stroll then paddled upstream till we hit our resort.

Tip: For leases and guided journeys on the Harpeth, Paddle Dog has you lined.


The Village of Leiper’s Fork

Leiper's Fork TN

Eight miles west of Franklin lies one other world…Leiper’s Fork. This was a near-forgotten whistle cease city till the Nineteen Nineties when a handful of Tennesseans turned its destiny round. Aubrey Preston and Bruce & Marty Hunt began renovating the historic buildings and hand-selecting artists, antiquarians, entrepreneurs, and individuals who would love and look after this place. They weren’t trying to flip an enormous revenue and so they by no means needed it to develop too massive. Fostering group and desires was at all times at its coronary heart. Today, Leiper’s Fork is only a village of round 650 individuals, however among the residents embrace Chris Stapleton, Mike Wolfe (host of American Pickers), and Justin Timberlake. The arts run via the veins of this city—from David Arms Gallery, a century-old barn dispalying the artist’s work and ornamental curiosities, to Leiper’s Creek Gallery that options internationally acknowledged artists (a lot of that are native). Serenite Maison has a beautiful assortment of house decor and about 15 devices…that aren’t on the market. That’s Picker’s Corner, the place guitars and fiddles are on the prepared if any passerby seems like enjoying a tune. (We had been there all of 5 minutes earlier than somebody began pickin’!) Sadly, after twenty years, the beautiful proprietress Alexandra is retiring, however with the constructing nonetheless owned by Leiper’s Fork matriarch Marty Hunt, there isn’t any method this house will lose its Leiper’s magic. Many guests come for a day journey, however we’re so glad we stayed the evening at Pot n’ Kettle Cottages. Owners Sam & Eric had been additionally wooed by this place across the time of its restoration and their magazine-worthy leases helped put Leiper’s on the map as a vacation spot in its personal proper. Our 1939 “Picker’s Cottage” with its entertaining kitchen, three bedrooms, and funky hangout areas made us really feel native for the evening. Someone noticed our camper parked on the residential road and welcomed us like we had been transferring in. Everyone on the town is so darn pleasant!

Tip: Don’t miss Tennessee Turquoise within the outdated smokehouse tucked off the principle road behind Leiper’s Creek Gallery. This is Morgane Stapleton’s (Chris’ spouse) jewel field of a store the place every buy of their new and vintage turquoise offers again to the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center.


Fox & Locke Open Mic Night

Fox and Locke Music Venue

It wasn’t luck that we arrived to Leiper’s Fork on a Thursday evening, that is when Fox & Locke hosts their legendary open mic. This music venue and homecookin’ restaurant bought its fame as Puckett’s, however they’ve simply gone again to its unique identify from when it was a grocery retailer in 1947. In phrases of expertise, nothing has modified, with artists that are typically previous or future Grammy nominees. We arrived at 6pm and the patio was bumpin’ and inside was standing room solely, however our pal Matt scored us a entrance row seat for probably the most intimate and superior music experiences. Musicians come from throughout (one band drove from Detroit via the evening and one other man flew in from Canada!) to audition day-of for his or her probability at one of many 20 spots on stage. We had been blown away by each act—be it a teenage lady with a giant set of pipes or the author for that “Night Shift” track that’s all around the radio. When the present was over and the bar was closed, the artistic vitality was nonetheless flowing with musicians nonetheless jamming on the entrance porch. Get your self to Leiper’s Fork on a Thursday and keep the evening!

See more of Leiper’s Fork in our photo gallery.


Tennessee Whiskey Trail

Tennessee is world famous for its whiskey, but did you know that only three counties in the entire state could legally make the stuff until 2009?! Before prohibition, Tennessee had hundreds of distilleries, though even after the federally-enforced dry spell, the state’s laws remained tight and only two were allowed to reopen. That said, there will always be moonshine and the stills kept cooking in old barns and backrooms. Come the 21st century, lawyer and distiller, Heath Clark decided to take on these antiquated laws and fight for small-batch makers. After a long battle, he successfully rewrote Tennessee law and whiskey production has opened up across the state with over 60 distilleries bringing craft spirits back to the people! The Tennessee Whiskey Trail connects the dots between the distilleries, so we grabbed a passport and bought stamped at two within the Franklin space. Starting with Heath Clark’s very personal, Company Distilling. He partnered up with former Jack Daniel’s grasp distiller, Jeff Arnett, to make among the finest bourbon, whiskey, and gin round. Leiper’s Fork additionally has their very own improbable distillery. We rolled as much as their 200-year-old cabin-turned-tasting-room, and other people had been having a grand ole time enjoying cornhole on the garden and consuming on the porch. On the Leiper’s Fork Distillery guided tour, we met “Ginger” their huge copper nonetheless, peered contained in the cypress-wood tanks, and sipped their double-gold-winning bourbons till we felt heat & fuzzy. Excited to see the place our passport takes us subsequent! See our Instagram gallery above for photographs from these glorious distillery excursions.


Natchez Trace Parkway & Timberland Park

Natchez Trace Parkway TN

Leaving Leiper’s Fork, it was nicely definitely worth the detour to the hop on the Natchez Trace Parkway, a National Park-protected 444-mile byway following the historic footpath utilized by Native Americans, European settlers, Mississippi River merchants, Civil War troops, and future presidents. You’ll know the place know the place to show if you see the 1,572 ft-long double arch bridge hovering over the street. We pulled over for Buddy the Camper to get his signature picture opp in entrance of the nationwide park signal and realized you possibly can hike to the bottom of the bridge and climb round this architectural marvel. Driving throughout, the views are fabulous of the plush Birdsong Hollow and a mile later you’ll attain the pleasant Timberland Park. Fun reality, this county park is the one one within the nation allowed to function on federal land. They proved their value and self-sufficiency by working completely off-grid, planting an Audubon-approved butterfly backyard, and providing guided walks and courses for the group. We actually loved our hike alongside their forested trails and occupied with the generations of people that walked these hills.

FirstBank Amphitheater

best music venues

A very sudden spotlight of our time in Franklin? Scoring live performance tickets at one of many coolest venues within the nation! Once a quarry, tall limestone partitions and 140 acres of forest encircle the model new FirstBank Amphitheater. To reclaim the rock-quarry-turned-trash-heap, they recycled and reused 900 tons of fabric and rebuilt to the best requirements of sustainability. Plus, they’re dedicated to being zero-landfill with plastic-free concessions, the place all the pieces is both recyclable or compostable. In lower than a 12 months of operation they’ve already gained the Tennessee Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award! We would have seen any live performance right here simply to expertise this candy new venue, however we had the great fortune of catching the nice Willie Nelson. Eighty-nine-years outdated and nonetheless rocking robust, the man is actually residing legend. Singing alongside to On The Road Again…“Like a band of gypsies we go down the highway. We’re the best of friends, insisting that the world keep turning our way…” we felt like he was singing only for us. Watch our TikTok video from the concert.


Giving Back

Franklin TN volunteering opportunities

In every destination we partner with, we find ways to give back to the community that would also be fun for other travelers. The Giving Garden is simply that! We spent the morning among the many FFUMC’s 5 acres of fields, flower beds, and greenhouses, studying from their grasp gardeners and chatting with the locals as we boxed up freshly harvested produce for these in want. The farm produces 30,000 kilos of meals a 12 months and rescues 15,000 kilos extra from the farmers market to distribute wholesome meals to Middle Tennessee’s underserved communities, plus flowers to the aged. Anyone can volunteer (their kids’s backyard is lovable!) and you may simply present up any Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday from 8am-11am April-October. We had been so impressed by the work on the Giving Garden that we donated $150 and determined to maintain the giving practice going with one other $150 donation to the Harpeth River Conservancy for conserving this ecosystem thriving for the flora, fauna, group, and guests like us.

An enormous thanks to Visit Franklin for inviting us to their inspiring group and for supporting our content material creation.

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Osa Peninsula: Costa Rica’s Most Romantic & Sustainable Getaway

Osa Peninsula Sustainable Travel Guide

Luna Lodge Costa Rica

Continuing our quest for the world’s most romantic and sustainable locations, we attain the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. The nation itself is a shoe-in for its progressive environmental insurance policies, with 25% of their land protected as nature reserves, 53% of the nation lined in forest (after a decades-long reforestation effort) and 99% renewable vitality. Costa Rica is filled with attractive seashores, volcanoes, rainforests, and swank resorts that might match the invoice for a sustainable honeymoon vacation spot, however none greater than the Osa Peninsula. National Geographic ranked it within the prime 5 most romantic locations on the earth, and with 2.5percentof the Earth’s biodiversity (in lower than one-thousandth of a % of its complete floor space), in addition they referred to as it “the most biologically intense place on earth.” It’s essentially the most vital wetland ecosystem and mangrove forests in Central America and the most important remaining tract of lowland rainforest in Pacific Mesoamerica, no to say attractive seashores…rely us in! We spent per week on this magical nook of southwestern Costa Rica…mountain climbing, birding, kayaking, swimming, and assembly the stewards serving to make Osa such a dream vacation spot. Read on for our sustainable journey information and to plan your getaway.

Sierpe River Ride

Sierpe Riverboat

This was our second journey to Costa Rica and we spent it meandering down the Pacific Coast to see associates in Guanacaste, go island glamping within the Gulf of Nicoya, chase waterfalls in Dominical, and eventually making our strategy to Drake Bay within the Osa. With tough highway entry into the northern half of the peninsula, the perfect (and most enjoyable) strategy to arrive is by boat from the river city of Sierpe. We walked to the dock the place our 20-foot lined boat was docked, subsequent to a crocodile half its measurement. This isn’t only a water-taxi trip to Drake Bay, it’s an hour-long safari. Rio Sierpe, means Serpent River in Spanish and will get its identify from its snaking path by the rainforest. Banking laborious to the left, our captain went barreling in direction of a dense wall of mangroves. It seemed like a crash was imminent, till we noticed a slim opening into an alleyway of thickets. With solely a pair toes on all sides, we gently bumper-boated our method by the maze and out to the open ocean. We cruised alongside the plush shoreline and weaved between sea stacks till we noticed the sailboats bobbing in Drake Bay. Our captain received as near shore as potential then advised us to roll up our pants, carry our luggage on our heads, and wade our strategy to Playa Colorada. Bienvenidos a Bahía Drake!

Tip: Before you allow Sierpe, be certain that to take out cash (there are not any ATMs in Drake Bay) and put on the suitable shorts and footwear for a seaside touchdown.

Drake Bay

Drake Bay Costa Rica Honeymoon

The city of Drake Bay is mainly one important road climbing uphill with just a few eating places, outfitters, and fundamental visitor homes, although look farther down the seaside and into the hills and eco-resorts are tucked within the bushes and secluded coves. The folks strolling the seaside are a mixture of boho backpackers, khaki-clad wildlife photographers, old-school fisherman, and starry-eyed {couples}. Cars aren’t one thing you’ll use right here, trails and boats result in the perfect locations.

Drake Bay Hiking Trail

Osa Costa Rica sustainable  getaways

With 134 inches of annual rainfall, we weren’t shocked to get up to a tropical downpour. We spent the morning engaged on my damaged laptop (Mike actually dismantled it into 50 items in hopes of saving our digital nomad lifeline)…till the solar referred to as us out for a must-do journey: The Drake Bay Hiking Trail. It’s 12.5 miles round-trip, however to make it somewhat extra leisurely you’ll be able to choose to take a ship again from Playa San Josecito or simply hike till you discover the seaside that calls to you. Marveling at towering bamboo, bouncing alongside suspension bridges, and stopping to look at swinging Capuchin monkeys, we ambled our strategy to Cocolito Beach. We walked the golden sand previous just a few {couples} making sand castles and studying paperback novels, and scaled the black rocks to discover a completely non-public cove. The formations have been like rough-hewen sculptures jutting out of the ocean, with tidepools of their pockets, and cliffs inflicting dramatic crashing waves. Add comfortable sand, freshly fallen coconuts, and a picnic blanket for a romantic seaside day.

More in Drake Bay

osa and sustainable romantic hotelsCaño Island: Take a ship journey to this biosphere reserve. You can spot dolphins and whales alongside the way in which and while you arrive, snorkel a reef that attracts large colleges of colourful fish. The island is uninhabited and guarded for its natural world, along with its archaeological significance as a Pre-Columbian burial floor.
Night Walk: Upwards of 60% of Osa’s wildlife is nocturnal so head out for the species you’d in any other case miss. Take a tour with “Tracie the Bug Lady,” a biologist and bug fanatic, for tons of enjoyable information and the possibility to see vibrant tree frogs, tailless scorpions, red-eyed tree snakes, owl butterflies, praying mantis, sleeping hummingbirds, and extra.
Floating Tour on Río Claro: Not your lazy river trip, it is a rainforest hike meets, waterfall swimming holes, cliff leaping, and rock hopping with a calming finale at Río Claro seaside. Head out with the professionals at Pachenco Tours.
Drake Bay Hotels: The luxurious Drake Bay Getaway has a first-rate location a prime a hill overlooking the principle seaside, and is firmly dedicated to sustainability in accordance with the Paris Pledge for Action. Just down the hill and alongside the mountain climbing path, Aguila de Osa has lengthy been a frontrunner in Costa Rica’s eco-lodges and Osa’s conservation, with beautiful rooms for decrease charges. For one thing much more secluded and a 5-minute boat trip from city, Copa de Arbol’s villas are a fantastic all-inclusive possibility.

Puerto Jiménez

sustainable getaway Osa Peninsula

We awoke at 4am to catch the day’s solely “collectivo” bus over the mountains to the Gulfo Dulce facet and the largest city on the peninsula, Puerto Jiménez. The important road was as regular as any Costa Rican city with {hardware} shops, clothes outlets, and banks, however with journey outfitters and visitor homes combined in. Nothing was open after we arrived at daybreak, however the tables and chairs have been out at Cafeteria Monka, so we made ourselves snug and watched the city get up, beginning with the scarlet macaws, flying in pairs. By quarter to eight there was a rush of bicycles and mother’s ushering their youngsters to high school. There aren’t many instructional sources on this space so the non-profit ASCONA has picked up the place colleges go away off, with a library and community center for households to be taught, collect, and create. We walked to the constructing, lined in rainforest-inspired murals, and poked round their small museum of historic pictures, kids’s artwork studio, and boutique of hand-made souvenirs. We had the privilege of assembly the ASCONA president, Ifigenia Canet, and have been swept up in her ardour for his or her neighborhood applications. She’s dedicated to the conservation of Osa, by educating locals on the worth of defending the rainforest–for the planet, their kids, and their very own livelihoods. Shopping their artisan-made souvenirs and helps assist their applications. Be certain to take a look at the library and Ifi’s community-based tour firm, Osa Wild!

Luna Lodge

Luna lodge sustainable hotels Osa Peninsula

Another Osa mover and shaker within the identify of dialog and eco-tourism is Lana Wedmore, the proprietor of Luna Lodge. Her attractive resort has a five-leaf sustainability score, unbelievable wellness applications, and sturdy actions, although her story and mission is what impressed us to e-book a four-night keep. The Luna Lodge Team picked us up from Puerto Jiménez and the motive force took us on a veritable safari, recognizing monkeys, owls, macaws, and animals we might have by no means observed by the tinted home windows. The winding highway hit a useless finish on the village of Carate, the place we hung a proper up a mud highway into the river valley. Shifting into four-wheel-drive, our tires climbed rocks and splashed by streams. We handed one home with a large sluice-box and an outdated man, nonetheless hanging on to Osa’s gold-mining days. The jungle-covered highway appeared virtually comically steep…then a signed appeared, “The worst is over, keep going.” How the heck did Lana pull off constructing on prime of this mountain? Forty years in the past she studied overseas in Costa Rica, then in 1991 she returned on a one-way journey from Colorado to the Osa Peninsula. She turned a tour information and lived for 9 years in a tented camp on the seaside (instantly beneath her current lodge) till an outdated miner approached this free-spirit about shopping for his land. He wished the land to go to somebody who would protect this sliver of the rainforest. Today Luna Lodge and the land-conservation non-profit White Hawk Foundation do precisely that.

Luna Bungalows

Luna Lodge bungalows

We pulled as much as the lodge on the higher slopes of the Carate River Valley. A grand open-air rancho constructing anchors the property and tropical flowers line paths resulting in the pool, eight bungalows, three haciendas, seven platform tents, yoga pavillion, and spa. We have been proven to our bamboo bungalow with large screened-in home windows and couldn’t determine the place to land first, our four-poster mattress, the open-air bathe, or the porch’s rocking chairs. The tree-covered peaks and symphony of chook songs referred to as us to the terrace and shortly after, the mountain climbing trails.

The Grounds

sustainable hotels in Osa Peninsula, Luna Lodge

To higher perceive and discover Luna Lodge’s 60 acres of rainforest, plus the lots of of fruit bushes and endemic vegetation they began from seed, we explored their community of trails with instructional indicators. We took the “Loop of Gold” from the first rainforest into the secondary, studying the occasional botanical ID on a tree or an inspirational quote, like “Look deep into nature, and you’ll understand everything better” or in Spanish, “Green is the new gold.” We handed the water generators, the photo voltaic array, and the permaculture backyard…and noticed how the lodge gives 100% of its personal energy and as a lot of their meals as potential. We then related to the waterfall path, a collection of three cascades and swimming holes proper on property.


dining in osa peninsula

Each night we went down for pre-dinner appetizers, adopted by a stupendous family-style unfold. As a vegetarian and wellness guru, Lana has made certain to make use of natural elements and cater to all dietary wants. Of the 5-7 dishes accessible every night, all however one will likely be vegetarian, if not vegan…so we have been in heaven! When it got here time for our anniversary dinner later that week, they shocked us with a desk on the balcony lit with a pathway of candles, and a personalised vegan cake for dessert.

Corcovado National Park

Corcovado National Park

The solar was barely up and breakfast and lunch-boxes have been prepared for anybody heading out on one in every of Luna Lodge’s many excursions. We have been venturing into the crown jewel of Osa’s wilderness areas…Corcovado National Park. Corcovado is actually an inspiring story of conservation. Logging and gold mining boomed on this space till the Nineteen Seventies when the federal government determined to prioritize the surroundings over trade and made it a nationwide park. Today it’s a cheerful house to 500 tree species, the extremely endangered large anteater, harpy eagles, all of Costa Rica’s large cats, their 4 native species of monkeys, plus Baird’s Tapir, Central America’s largest land mammal. Basically a wildlife fanatic’s nirvana. Everyone wants a information to discover the park, which will be completed as multi-day treks between ranger stations, a ship journey from Drake Bay, or within the case of Luna Lodge friends, mountain climbing in proper from Carate seaside. Our wildlife sightings started proper off the bat, particularly with our information Marlon’s Spidey senses. Before working for Luna Lodge, he walked this path 5 hours a day, on a regular basis for 4 years, so he knew the place to search for hummingbird nests, the right way to make toucan mating calls, and which endemic vegetation had medicinal makes use of. The path weaved out and in of the thick rainforest, opening as much as pristine seashores with bluffs within the distance and below the quilt of the cover. After recognizing the colourful slaty-tailed tragon, a fantastic curassow, yellow-throated toucan, the small-but-mighty golden orb weaver, and extra monkeys and coatis than we may rely, we noticed our very first anteater! This northern tamandua was napping in a tree so we relaxed alongside him with a picnic lunch and watched this cutie stir within the branches. What a deal with! See extra of our wildlife photos.

Kayaking Laguna Pejeperro

Pejeperro Lagoon

That afternoon we took it straightforward by the pool and went to mattress early to prep for one more large day forward. Well earlier than dawn, we set off with Marlon and a small group to kayak Laguna Pejeperro (aka Fish Dog Lagoon). Walking bleary-eyed alongside the moonlit path and wading into darkish water, we momentarily questioned what we have been doing right here, then got here essentially the most goooooorgeous dawn with glowing clouds and shorebirds reflecting again at us. We paddled the perimeters of the lagoon and realized about uncommon species just like the “Juevo Frito,” a chook who makes a sound like a scorching fried egg, and the “Jesus Christo Lizard” that walks on water. Ibis, egrets, kingfishers, northern jacana, and extra wildlife reminded us that it’s all the time price getting up for dawn within the Osa Peninsula.

Preserving Osa

Osa Peninsula Conservation

On our remaining morning, we did a yoga class with Lana, overlooking the ocean, surrounded by bushes, listening to the macaws, and felt so such gratitude for this expertise. After our namastes, she invited us to her home and studio the place she does therapeutic massage, reiki, and sound therapeutic. We walked into her front room to seek out it fully open on one facet and searching proper up the Carate River Valley. Waking up with this view is her reminder to honor and shield this valuable place. Since 2010, she has been operating the White Hawk Foundation, a land belief to protect the rainforest and wildlife corridors from the Carate River Valley to the nationwide park. To additional assist the ecosystem, Luna Lodge is an lively member of The Turtle Protection Committee, ASCONA, and The Association of Integral Development of Corcovado. The Osa is a fragile place, however supporting the companies and nonprofits with conservation on the core of their mission will assist protect it for future generations of holiday makers and species alike. We have been moved to donate $100 to each ASCONA’s community library and

Osa Peninsula: Get prepared to your journey!

osa peninsula travel guide

Getting There: To get to Puerto Jimenez, take the 1-hour SANSA flight from San Jose airport to Puerto Jimenez or hop the Grupo Blanco bus from most any Puntarenas coastal city. To get to Drake Bay, taking the river boat from Sierpe is essentially the most enjoyable and environment friendly. There is a highway that connects the 2 cities however has rare, pre-dawn departures and is impassable within the wet season.
When to Go: January-April is reliably sunny with little to no rainfall. May-August afternoon showers are widespread, however every thing will likely be lush inexperienced and lodges’ drop their charges considerably. Avoid September-October when rain is the heaviest and essentially the most lodging closes for the season.
Travel Insurance: We extremely suggest getting journey insurance coverage earlier than heading into this distant and wild a part of Costa Rica. Allianz Travel Insurance has complete and reasonably priced plans for single journeys, or our private favourite is their All Trips Premier Plan which covers a full yr of travels to your complete household.

More Activities

osa peninsula whale watching

Overnight in Corcovado Park. Truly immerse your self in Corcovado’s wilderness with an in a single day on the Sirena Ranger station. It’s a strenuous hike and met with very fundamental lodging, however certain to be unforgettable. See Osa Wild’s tours into the park.
Get Local at Dos Brazos de Rio Tigre: The neighborhood affiliation of ACODOBRARTI helps join vacationers with locals on this genuine village with history tours, horseback riding, hikes, and a variety of cultural experiences.
Whale Watch in Golfo Dulce: One of simply 4 tropical fjords on the planet, and the one place on earth the place populations of each Northern and Southern Humpback whales meet to beginning their younger, Golfo Dulce is prime for giant sightings. Head out with Golfo Dulce Retreat.

Watch our Osa Video

Have questions concerning the Osa Peninsula and our sustainable honeymoon journey? Lay ‘em on us within the feedback.

An enormous thanks to our sponsor Allianz Travel Insurance for believing within the significance of sustainable journey and supporting eco-minded content material creators like us!

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